Marz Man was more than a former player…he was a great friend!

When you took a walk with “Johnny Marz” for just five
minutes through the streets of South Philly, you got a sense of just how many
lives he touched.

He repeatedly used to tell me that his father’s best
advice to him was: “It is nice to be important but it is more important to
be nice.” He lived every day that way and I will take it with me forever. My
heart goes out to his family.

Vinny

148 Comments

Johnny Marz loved baseball maybe more then anyone I’ve ever met. It’s telling and important that each time I think of him today I laugh before getting sad and have even laughed while crying today. He was as hilarious and genuine in person as he was on air and was an absolute pleasure to work with and call a friend. The NL East should be very worried because with Marzano in heaven I’m sure he’s nudging the big guy to make sure his Phillies go all the way.

-Siano

I am in complete shock as a devoted fan of the show… All the best to Marz’s family, the MLB family, and to Vinny as everyone copes with this terrible tragedy. Marz brought passion and a smile to his every effort, so let’s all go make someone smile in his honor. –Josephine, NC

Well put, Vinny. Amen to that.

I only knew Johnny Marz for less than two years but you could tell in five minutes what a terrific guy he was. He just obviously had a love of life and people and telling stories about his experiences, whether in the game or otherwise. Looking back at it I can’t believe I had to follow him in the seat in the MLB.com studios… he was a tough act follow and always got me laughing to start the show. And being as gullible as I am, he usually took advantage of that to spin some story on me and get me going “wow, really?” before he would admit he was yanking my chain. And you could never be mad at the guy because he would always leave you smiling. My most heartfelt condolences go out to his family and loved ones, because I bet he made everyone he ever knew, feel like one.
–Cory Schwartz, Fantasy 411

My thoughts are with you Vinny as he was a close friend to you. John wouldn’t want people to be crying at his passing he would want people to remember him for his love and enthusiasm for the beautiful game of baseball. So lets make it happen and enjoy the great game of baseball in Memory of John Marzano.

Jan, Glasgow

I’m so saddened to hear this news, as a fan in the UK I always grabbed the Leading Off podcast and loved listening to the two of you, I learned so much from the two of you and can’t beleive the Marz man won’t be around to big up the Phils or talk about Junior.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Johns family and friends and he’ll certainly never be forgotten.

RIP Marz Man.

Dan in the UK

I’m speechless… what a tremendous loss to all of us who knew Marz. He was an absolutely terrific, warm, wonderful guy; funny, personable, one of those guys that made you feel like you knew him forever five minutes after you met him. Great fun to have around, alway upbeat and on his way to the next project. A total ball of energy and a amazing spirit. I am so sad; most particularly for his family. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. And for those of us left behind, let’s take a moment to say “I love you” to our family and friends… for if nothing else, this tragedy hammers home the realization that life is fleeting, even for the most vital of us, and we need to live every day to the fullest. John did just that, and he will be terribly missed. “Take it ease, Johnny Marz.”

– daria

Reading this makes me feel sick. What a horrible, sad thing to have happened. I think all of us feel robbed by his passing, even just those of us who knew him through the Baseball Channel. So I shudder to think what you guys feel like — friends, family, those who knew him personally. Marz, you will be missed.

I am saddened by this news. I will miss Johnny Marz and his friendly banter with Vinny. He had some terrific stories on the Leading Off show and offered great insight to the operations of clubhouses around MLB.

I will always be a fan of John Marzano.

My thoughts are with his family and those close to him. John was a great guy, someone who I enjoyed working with and getting to know over the past year. Just last week we were on the streets of NYC, working on a segment for Leading Off, where he would eventually let the people he was interviewing know he was a former professional player. The interviewees had no clue who he was, but he just kept at it. For an hour he had our crew laughing at his willingness to make fun of himself and lack thereof of a celebrity status in the Big Apple. This just goes to show you John’s great sense of humor and love of life. And it’s moments like these that I will remember: the times in October where he would bring pretzels to the studio crew, the numerous times he would proudly show us pictures of his grandchildren, the times he would call a commercial break so he could go to the bathroom… John was a a great guy and I miss him dearly already.
-Katy

Every single morning when I walked into the mlb office John Marzano would make me laugh and put a smile on everyone’s faces. A great, fun, giving guy – from his “Take it EZ,” to the smiles and laughs, and to the Philly pretzels he bought in last week – It’s not going to be the same without him. Johnny Marz, we’re all going to miss you tremendously.

Vinny: When I first heard about Johnny Marz’s passing, my first thoughts were with you. It was obvious that you and Marz had a very special relationship. I want to thank both of you for the last year, especially getting through my “blue winters” with Leading Off – you were my cup of coffee. After a Friday show, I knew that youse guys would be back on Monday. I think we all who followed the show feel a little hollow right now. But, I know that Marz would want you to keep attending, with your Mom and Aunts to The Big Apple Ice Shows at Christmas. I also liked it when he spoke of his Mom – she was so special to him, as was his daughters and grandchildren. LEADING OFF WAS MORE THAN BASEBALL, IT WAS ABOUT THE PROPER TEACHING OF YOUNG KIDS, FAMILY, FRIENDSHIP, RAISING KIDS, CELL PHONES, UGLY PHILLY, AND TWO GIFT CARDS – one worth $25 and the other worth $26. I will always remember Leading Off as a dynamic period with youse two Italian guys MAKING ME LAUGH.

Jimmy B from Utah

Any man who could keep such a sunny disposition while playing for the late eighties Red Sox…that’s something special.
Sportswriters always called those Sox teams the “25 guys, 25 cabs” teams, but I can’t imagine too many of his teammates passing up a ride to the ballpark with Johnny Marz.

Thanks for everything, and my deepest sympathies to the Marzano family and the BaseballChannel family.

PS- I was at your 2 homer game in ’87, so I know it happened, but don’t try to pull the ball too much up there. I hear Drysdale and Early Wynn haven’t mellowed a bit.

John was a dear my friend and I will miss him dearly. The last year and a half working with John have been some of my favorite times. Words here cannot even express what he has meant to me during my time that we all knew him. Take it ease buddy.

Thoughts of Johnny have been at the forefront of my mind since hearing of his passing on the Mets pregame today. I know he was heading to Philly to watch Johan v. Cole, and I’m glad he got to see the great game that he loved at it’s finest, one last time. It was great to see/hear how he embraced the mlb.com crew, and quickly became one of the guys, never giving the impression that he was more important than any of em, especially Vinnie. My deepest sympathy to the Marzano and MLBAM families during this difficult time.

Jason (Newman) from Bowling Green

As much time as I spend putting thoughts down on paper every day. this is tough as it gets in terms of thinking of words. There aren’t many people in the world that you will ever meet who instantly light up a room when they enter it, and who do it with an insatiable energy for life, and a passion for friendship…Johnny Marzano or Farzano as I sometimes called him – was one of those people. John was a guy who loved the game, who loved his friends and family…and who loved making a positive impact on those around him. I am struggling mightiliy with the thought that I won’t get to pass him in the hall and yell at him about how the Mets, or to hear him singing in the bathroom so loud you could hear him in the hall. He was as good a man as you’ll find, and he will be sorely missed by all he knew.

John, when I get to heaven someday…you and I are going to have that rematch in Xbox. We will miss ya always…

Sterno

Hi it’s a sad day for me i loved John Marzano alot i liked listening to him on the leading off show and writing emails into the show which was read by a great guy Vinny Mucchi and i like how John would always say nice things about my die hard team the Phillies which John was a huge fan of too. I don’t know how the leading off show will go on now without Marzano but i will really miss him alot. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Geez i really miss him now that he’s not without anymore. PHILLY FRANK

I am shocked and saddened by the news of Johnny Mazano’s passing. He had a knack for making everyone around him laugh. He lived life to the fullest and will be missed greatly. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Vinny Micucci and everyone at MLB.com. Thank you Johnny Marz for everything you did for baseball on and off the field.

Marzano was a well spoken and inciteful commentator who I enjoyed listening to on Comcast Sportsnet when the Phillies game was over. I will miss him.

It’s been pretty tough to sit here all day and not be able to do anything, so in the spirit of 411 HoF’er Johnny Archive, check out the September 13, 2007 edition of the Fantasy 411 (NOT a shameless plug, I promise) for a hilarious five-minute cameo by Johnny Marz.

To find it, visit the BaseballChannel.TV archive page (http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/radio/index.jsp), then scroll down to the bottom right portion of the page, and select ?September 13, 2007? from the Fantasy 411 menu under the Feature Shows header. Unless you really wanna hear Mike and me discussing seven month old news, skip forward to about the 13:45 mark and enjoy five tremendous minutes with Johnny Marz.

During the show John mentioned a memorable game at Yankee Stadium in which he went 4-for-4 with his father in attendance, and here’s a link to the box score of that game on June 13, 1990:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYA/NYA199006130.shtml

But his dream game had to have come on August 16, 1987, when — less than three weeks into his MLB career — he busted out the whupping stick with a 3-for-4, 2-HR monster against the Rangers:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BOS/BOS198708160.shtml

Enjoy.
–CS

I’ll miss the life and humor that johnny marz brought to the show every single day he was on………he and vinny were the perfect combo on “leading off” and my heart goes out to the mlb.com family as well as the marzano family in this time of hardship…..it is enlightening to know that wherever john was he left an impression on all that he met…..i only wish i had called into the show that i made my priority to listen to every morning the past year plus…..i wish i had the opportunity to share in his knowledge and unique wit on a first hand basis……as it is though…..i will remember john marzano as a passionate father, and life instructor…..as well as an impassioned voice of the game that i love!!!!………rest in peace john……you made the starting lineup for me every morning…and you were ready for the challenge!!

I’m sorry for posting twice, but I agree with Cory it’s hard to just sit here without thinking of the “Marz Man” and some his classic moments. Here’s two of my favorite memories; 1)the video clip of Johnny Marz jumping on the back of some hitter who was charging Roger Clemens on the mound. What a great teammate. 2) And forgive me for this one, but it was the hardest I have ever laughed while listening to any sports show – I asked Johnny Marz if he had any funny baseball stories while he was behind the plate. He told us of this time when he almost got kicked out of the game for “having stomach problems”. It was hilarious. I’ll try and find the actual clips so we can all laugh WITH Johnny Marz-Man again. I think he would like that.

So very sad. In regards to his, “its nice to be important, but its more important to be nice” aside…a decade ago, he ruminated that over the OF wall to me and some of my stumblebum Yankee Stadium bleacher creature brethren. We had been ragging on him during BP, in sorta friendly fashion but fueled with a couple of beers as they still sold them in the bleachers then, and he sauntered over with a big grin and some snappy quips. Some of which were ribald, and much to our liking. Talk even gravitated towards things like Italian food, which he claimed he could handle with gusto. He actually said he could whip up the meanest pasta in the American league, and we were angling for him to make us some.

And as Seattle wrapped it up that pregame afternoon, he left us with that “nice to be important, but more important to be nice” credo, and left us all mouth agape. As he jogged in, we all gazed in wonder, and said to one another, “what a nice guy.” And we forgave him for fighting with Paul O’Neill that one time on the spot.

We’ll miss him. May he rest easy.

How fitting was it the Johnny ended the show of Friday talking about spending time with his family. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and the entire mlb.com media family. The man with the big heart and big laughs will never be replaced. This love for family, friends and baseball will missed but ever forgotten.
Todd- Sheboygan

I will keep John, his family and friends in my thoughts and prayers.

Martin

john may have been a backup for most of his MLB career…..but with the avid listeners and watchers of the baseballchannel.tv he never rode the pine…..he was a trooper in every sense of the word and will be missed greatly

Unfathomable. Johnny Marz did more to fuel my career than anyone I have ever met. Marzy wasn’t an analyst, he was a fanalyst. He looked at things at a fans perspective. I only knew him for about one year, but as has been explained, you only needed to know Marz for one minute and you were instantly his friend. He loved everybody, and not to sound cliche, but everyone loved him back. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. I will miss him dearly.

HEISS the FAN

As an old So. Philly neighbor, friend, fan and writer who often spoke to John Marzano, I’d like to personally extend my deepest sympathies to the entire Marzano family, especially his mother, whom John adored. I first met John as a boy who went to school with my brother, Mike, at Annunciation. I remember my brother telling me about how John loved, ate, slept and dreamed of baseball. Many a day I’d watch John and his dad practice at the neighborhood field and listen as his father not only taught him the game of baseball, but the game of life. Even as a kid, John was special. So it was no surprise to everyone who knew him that he would grow to not only play major league ball, but to do great things while always remaining humble and loyal to his So. Philly roots. Whether he was walking down the street, shopping at the super market, or having a meal with friends at a local restaurant, he’d always make time to greet a fan, talk baseball, and sign an autograph. John never thought he was bigger than the game and remained true to himself, often shying away when he received praise from a fan. I remember him coming up to me in a grocery store one day to tell me how much he enjoyed my articles in PRH, especially the one about “The Difficult Decision of Placing a Loved One in a Nursing Home” and said he wanted my autograph. Imagine a major league player wanting my autograph…but that was John, always “just a kid from the neighborhood”!

Today, along with Mrs. Marzano, South Philadelphia lost a son! John, you will be deeply missed. And to the Philadelphia Phillies organization, shame on you for never giving John his rightful place as a full-time announcer or coach within the organization. When will you ever learn to promote one of Philadelphia’s own?

No matter who you were he would treat you like family. What I remember about John is if something was wrong he’d want to know what it was so he could give you advice, make you feel better about it, and then make you laugh just so you’d smile and forget about your problems for a while. John was a character like no other.
Marz, thanks for making spring training fun, because all of us know you were the life of the team. We had some good times and great laughs. 2 Italians with black shirts, being loud and out of place at the outlets in Florida, I still laugh just thinking about it. I’ll miss ya Marz Man…. we all will.
-JoeJoe

Johnny Marz was absolutely my favorite character of the BBCH.tv crew. With apologies to Sterno and others, his charisma was unmmatched and his love for the players and the game unwavering. While the BBCH daily podcast is now defunct, I made a point to listen to it live when I could just for Marzie and Vinny’s banter, and the good-natured ribbing between him and the players.

One of the comments I remember most is him saying something about being a “meatball-looking italian guy.” Nothing, it appeared, could ruffle his feathers and he was always positive. BBCH will never be the same.

Alan
Los Angeles

This is so unreal, I just watched watched Leading Off this week and I’m completely stunned by this, Marz was one of my favorite analysts on mlb.com. And while I’ve only talked to him a couple times he was incredibly fun to talk to about baseball. My thoughts are condolences go out to his family.

Jimmy

was listening to the indians vs twins game on WMMS FM 100.7 back in cleveland and I heard during the game that John Marzano has passed away. I am soory to hear that and I wish his family my deepest condolences. He was a good man and a fine major league player he will be deeply missed. Kenny , Ohio

April is harsh. This is my first time signed in MLB and comment on blog.

He was a great man. As a fan getting to know how great he was by listening the show, it was pleasure every morning but now it was great honor and memory. It is very unfortunate for all of us loves baseball. He was great asset to it. We will miss his presence, humor, talent….

Can someone edit his best archives and make condolence show?

DK California

We love and miss you, Johnny Marz.

Hosts can be replaced, the show will go on, but Marz is irreplaceable. You’ll be missed.

It’s funny that, like some of the other commentators here, I’ve also watched this week’s program just yesterday… It’s really surreal.

my thoughts are with johns family and friends.i watched marz and vinny on mlb.com he showed how he loved baseball every time he was on. you will be missed yout a legend marz.

peter. scotland

As a frequent listener to the show I am very saddened to hear of John’s passing. He and Vinny had a certain chemistry that just made you love the show. I will especially miss John’s passion and the insights he gave into the life of a mlb player.

I’m very saddened to hear of john marzano passing away.
My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and colleagues. Being from germany it is a great way to follow baseball with mlb.com and baseballchannel.tv. John was a big part of that and i will always remember him when i tune in to watch a show in the future.

I recently had a friend of mine in the media pass away from a sudden heart attack at the age of 49. It is so sad for someone as young as John Marzano to pass away. I guess its just a reminder for each of us to cherish our friends, family, and live every day as if its your last. You just never know. John you are already missed.

I couldn’t believe the news when I heard of Johnny Marz passing, I still can’t…Although I didn’t know John it feels like losing a good friend. He made me laugh everyday. My thoughts are also with Johnny’s family and friends, Vinny and all of the mlb.com crew. I am going to miss you a lot, and I hope they have some cheese steaks where ever you are now.

DaniŽl from Holland

For those interested, MLB.com has reposted a number of classic Marzano clips, as well as a video tribute and a replay of his last show:
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/news/tributes/obit_john_marzano.jsp

Completely tragic…

I had the blessing to meet Johnny Marz on a many occasions, and he was one of the nicest people I’ve met. I was trying to change careers and get into the field of baseball, and Marz gave me a list of people to contact who might be able to assist me. When I hit some stuggles, he was nothing less then encouraging.
John touched many people’s lives in his short time here and he will be missed by all.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Jay Platt – NYC

I can’t believe what I’m seeing.

It’s intern Doug posting for the first time. The past summer that I interned at MLB.com was the best summer I’ve ever had. I enjoyed working closely with all the talent on MLB.com especially Johnny Marz. He was a funny guy with a light heart and always wanted the best for people.

His insight was something I looked forward to listening and watching his insight every day.

That contest with Sterno he had, quite enjoyable.

I’ll miss you johnny Marz, we all will.

~ Intern Doug

what a tragic event. I watch leading off, its by far the best baseball show we have access to in the uk. I loved Johnny Marz and the humour and banter he shared with Vinny. Im just so in shock but i will always remember the good times and all the times that he bought a smile to my face and so many more faces around the world. My final thoughts are with his family and with Vinny and i cant begin to imagine the grief that they are feeling at the moment.
Tommo

Truely sad and shocking news. Lets all take a lesson from the way John carried himself and how he lived his life. hIS enthusiame and love of baseball and life in general should be emulated by all. As a norwegian met fan I allways had a smile on my face after watching leading off. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Mlb.media family and the Marzano family. Lets honor the life of Johnny Marz by trying to live life the way he did. God bless you.

So many great things have been said about Marz already and they are all so true. The one thing that stands out the most is how he put a smile on everyone?s face around him. He was full of life and is someone that enjoyed every minute of it.

I didn?t get to work directly with John for most of his time at MLB.com but during the playoffs in 2007 and this Spring I got a full dose of The Marz Man and loved every second of it. He was seriously the best at busting chops and always kept everyone on their toes. When the red light went on, he was on with a tremendous combination of insight and humor that may never be matched. After the show he was the best at telling everyone what a great job we were doing and how he appreciated our hard work. Then he?d bust our chops the rest of the night and tell us great stories over dinner and drinks. He included everyone and always made us laugh. During some downtime this spring John and I talked about friends, family and life in general. He showed me a picture of his grandkids he was so proud of. ?Life is great, isn?t it?? he said to me. Marz?s life was great and he lived it to the fullest.

Take it ease Marz. I will miss you. We all already do.

Danny G

My husband and I would like to offer our prayers and sympathy to the Marzano family. To lose a loved one is always hard. To lose one so young and vital is tragic. Please know that John was loved by everyone who knew him from watching him on TV or personnally.
Tho we never met him, we welcomed him into our home and enjoyed his commments along with the rest of the Comcast team. His antics were great and will be greatly missed.
Again, our prayers are with his family in this time of sorrow.
Mike and Sue S
Coplay, PA

So sad and so shocking…my heart goes out to his family and friends. What a nice man…such a terrible loss! He will be missed :(
Jenn

I didn’t listen to Leading Off, but heard John on a spring training Fantasy 411 podcast and thought he was just terrific. Just in that short visit I could tell what kind of wit and passion he brought to his analysis. It can be found in the archives by following Cory’s instructions above and selecting February 26, 2008. John comes on at about the 23:20 mark. For a couple of great stories about his catching days, start at about 30:30. Cory with the Marzano jersey is a nice touch.

Thanks to Daria at MLB.com for the offer of help.

Mike, Mexico

In 45 years this guy seems to have affected the lives of numerous individuals positively. I remember the first time I watched Marz play at Fenway Park. He came into to town as the # 1 pick of the Boston Red Sox but was behind the plate for the US Olympic Team. Then when we first came onto the scene at MLB.COM it brought back so many great memories. Then I had so many passionate discussions with John and loved his style. He was one of the guys that get it: I feel like I lost a great friend today. I pray for John’s family and all of you that lost a friend.

Tony in Jacksonville

John, you will be in my thoughts and prayers. I loved every minute of your baseball analysis for the past few years. I loved how you broke down the game piece by piece and the enthusiasm that went along with it. I wrote in to the show a few times and you were kind enough to read my e-mails on the air. Before starting to break down my question, you would always point out my military address and show your support for the troops. That meant so much. You will be extremely missed! RIP.

-John Shields
Sgt – USMC

I thought if I slept on it I would wake up to some profound words to say about John, something more than my prayers are with his family and friends, but I’m still at a loss for words.

I’m guessing if there is a softball team in Heaven, God has a new personal catcher.

GP

As a lifelong Red Sox fan I will always remember John Marzano as a bulldog behind the dish and a player who played the game the right way; with passion. And from reading the posts from those who knew him well; John Marzano touched and changed many lives of those around him. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.
Rest easy Marz

Brian Sassi, RI

Absolutely horrible news to hear of the passing of this larger than life character. Listening to him on podcast while at lunch or on the bus was always one of the bright spots of my day. He clearly seemed to have so much fun on the air. As with all others my thoughts and prayers go to the Marzano family and those he worked with. There’s no question though that God’s gonna hear about it if the Phillies dont make the postseason!!!

Scott in Canberra, Australia

I have a very difficult time believing that things happen for a reason when Johnny Marz is taken from us. Not once did I ever hear someone say something negative about him – not once did I ever leave a conversation with him without a smile or a laugh. No matter who you were, no matter what role you held in his life – he treated you with the utmost respect and made you feel like you did something to make his day better, when in reality he brightened your day. As a Philly guy myself, I was a fan of Marz before we worked together. As I’d watch him on SportsNet, I’d think – can he possibly be like that off-camera – and he is.
Death always put life into perspective – and Marz always had a very unique perspective, one that too few could witness.

Coslockafocka

This evening I was shocked to hear that the Marz-man has pasted away. It sounds a bit surreal. My thoughts are with all who were close to him, the many souls he touched in real life and through the media.
I think of him as a energetic, all over the place guy, with stand up knowlegde of the game and a great sense of humor.
Marz, you will be missed!

Pieter
Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Johnny Marz will greatly be missed by myself and my family. My family grew up with Johnny and i attended his baseball academy. From the day i met him, John took me under his wing as a friend and a mentor. I’ll never forget all the nights i would be up till 3 in the morning, playing video games with Johnny..talking on the headset to each other.. tryin to beat each other in Madden. John will greatly be missed by the city of Philadelphia.

- Anthony Mazzone Jr.

Some things I remember from working with Marz were the impromptu photo shoots I had to do with him and Vinny last postseason for the BBCH page. Over the course of several days, I had to get them with some of the co-hosts they had so we had the right combo on the site.

I’m looking at them now and how Marz just takes over the picture with his hand gestures and how he’s communicating even when you can’t hear him.

You’ll read in various places how great a teammate Marz was when he played. He was, but not only in baseball, but in life. He made you proud to be on the same team with him.

One good thing is that he left behind a sizable body of work that you can sample on the memorial page. If you never knew the guy, take some time and look through them. No difference between the guy you see and the guy we knew.

Johnny Marz left his mark and there’s a big vacuum now in its place. I’ll paraphrase something said about Thurman Munson: I guess God needed another catcher up there.

–Matt Mankiewich

As so many of my co-workers have already stated, knowing John for just one minute made an impact in your life. I was fortunate enough to spend a good chunk of the past few months on the road with John, where I really got to know who “The Marz Man” was and like everyone else has said before me, he will forever be one of the greatest personalities to walk the earth. It’s funny because I walk around my house now telling people to “Take it easseee” all the time but it will somehow feel different whenever i speak the words from this day forward. .com will never be the same without you…My prayers and deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends.
-Damien

I was so saddened to hear of the loss of John Marzano. I am from the Philadelphia area and ran into Marz often at Chickie and Pete’s either before or after Phillies games and during live broadcasts for 610 WIP. I last saw Marz-Man during the Flyers pre-game Thursday night where he pumped us all up with “Let’s Go Flyers!” chants. He was a warm and genuine man with a love for life, his Philly roots, and the game of baseball. He always wore a smile on his face and treated everyone he met as a friend. I send my deepest condolences to you, Vinny, all of John’s colleagues and friends, and most importantly his family. Looking back now, my fondest memory will be of Marz, his wife, and daughters all dressed up and laughing on NYE ’07 at Chickies. Even then, John happily took the time to say hello and shake hands with anyone anxious to meet him. We lost a one of kind guy in John, there will never be another like him. Take it easy, Johnny, you will be missed.

Amy, Mt. Laurel, NJ

Hey guys -

A number of you have been asking for the link to download the last 411 podcast that Marz was on. Thanks to Mike Jeziorski for tracking down the date. It was February 22, 2008.

Here’s the link: Just click it or paste it into your browser, save to disk and enjoy!

http://dds.mlb.com/2008/411/022608_fantasy411.mp3

- daria

I don’t know what to say… I am in complete shock still..

My best to his family..

- John from Milwaukee

John was one of the few truly good people out there. Evidence of John’s love, passion and friendship can be found everywhere he touched. And in this difficult time, we should remember John not with saddness for our loss, but with joy for having him as a part of our lives. Even if it was all too brief.

We’ll miss you Marzy. Take it ease…

- MF

As those of us who worked with him know, Marz had a nickname for everyone. At some unknown point he started calling me ‘Ang’, a name only my family has used before. I thought this was fitting because he always treated us all like we were one big famiglia. Everyone did such a good job of remembering him above, I just wanted to leave this:

“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
-Andrea

John, you were truly an inspirational person. You were a great friend and mentor to me. You could take something negative and turn it into something positive. You were always willing to help me, even if it meant staying twenty extra minutes to pitch me extra batting practice or help me with my catching. Much of the reason why I am succeeding the way I am on varsity is becuase of you. Me and my entire family send our deepest condolences to your whole family. Thank you for everything you have done for me and god bless you. You were a great man.

- Antny

I didn’t know John Marzano very well personally, but as a baseball features writer based in Boston, I spoke to him occasionally while he was catching for the Boston Red Sox. He truly made an impression on me as one of the most genuine, kind-hearted, and classy men in the game.
My heart goes out to him, his family, and his friends.
RIP John.

The World Was A Better Plase With Jonh In IT…God Bless
Him And His Family

Totally shocked and saddened by this news.

I listen to the 411 every day via podcast, and used to love when Marzano made the guest appearances. Full of life, and you could really tell what a great guy he was.

Like Mike (Siano) I have also lost a friend who made me laugh, while crying over his passing. Such sweet sorrow. An unexplainable oxymoron. A true sign of someone special.

My thoughts and prayers out to his family, friends, and everyone at mlb.com.

Ryan (Brisbane, Australia)

I am sad to hear the news of John’s passing. I didn’t know John at all personally, but many years ago when I was a young lad I met John while he was playing with the New Britain Red Sox. That was in 1988 I believe and there was a special night at Beehive Field where all the Cub Scouts could come down to the field and meet the players. I happen to be by John and listened to him talk to the group about the game for what seemed like a long time. Even then he was a great speaker and was an interesting person to listen to. I remember that I had asked him a question (no idea what it was now) and he was kind enough to answer this little kid. That’s something that I never forgot. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family and friends.
–Sam Smith

As I look at this tribute, it brought me back to the Christmas party when I was sitting with Marz at the bar.

He asked me if I was feeling any pressure in my new job. The job of reshaping how and what content we do on the channel.

I told the truth. I told him that I was feeling pressure, but that it was common in this business. It was nothing we couldn’t get through because of the people we had working with us.

He liked that.

Johnny smiled and leaned in closer so that I would not miss what he was about to say.

“We are going have fun,” he said.

It was not a question. It was a statement.

I smiled and he flashed me that goofy grin with the even goofier head-bob he would do.

As he put on his bright red Phillies jacket, I stood up from my bar stool, grabbed him by the shoulders and said, “Yes, we are. We are going to create some good $#&^.”

He, in turn, grabbed me by my shoulders and replied, “Amen, brother.”

After he worked the room for a few goodbyes, Marz returned to me and said, “I gotta go. We gotta lot of work to do and I need my rest.”

And with that, he was out the door.

John Marzano did his work and he had fun doing it. He may have been 45, but he was a youngster in this business. He was more than willing to llisten and learn.

In three weeks, he made Leading Off his legacy in an ever-changing, topsy-turvy media world.

I will miss him.
Jim Jenks

My condolences to his family- both personal and professional.

It’s Amazing To Wake Up Early One Morning Or Maybe Late Since I Live In The West Coast And Come To Find Out That A Great Man Has Moved On. Marzano Was An Admirable Personality. I Certainly Will Miss Waking Up In The Morning And Watching Leading Off With John Marzano Before Heading Out To School. Marzano Had The Type Of Character That Would Make Anyone’s Day! I Remember Sending In IM’s And He Always Read Them But I Remember One That Was Really Fulfilling. He Gave Me Advice On How To Become A Better Baseball Player. Thanks For All The Work Marz! You Will Be Missed!!

PS: If The Phillies Don’t Make The Playoffs, “Take It Esshhh” On God Marz! ;]

Carlos From San Diego

I put together a little tribute video last night when I was still in shock and felt I had to do something. It’s nothing fancy, but if you want to see it you can view it here – http://johnnyarchive.mlblogs.com/

It’s so nice to read all these kind words about a man we all grew to know and love. I am still in state of disbelief.

There is no doubt Johnny Marz will be missed. As a young fan of the game this is the man I looked up to. This is the man I looked forward to hearing from on Phillies post game. This is the man I tuned in for everyday to hear him talk baseball. Johnny, you will be missed by everyone, especially the Philadelphia fans. Rest in peace Marz Man

I’m just starting to wrap my head around the fact that I’ll no longer get the opportunity to work with Johnny Marz again. Being around him, especially while he was in his baseball element, was such a treat. My favorite memory of Marz is also my last one. It was while we were in Florida for Spring Training. The crew was in the hotel lobby just hanging out. I sat down with Vinny, Chris, and Marz, and he was telling me about the shopping trip he and Vinny went on earlier. “You see these sandals? They cost 60 bucks. I got um for 30, how you do?” His quick deadpan delivery and that unmistakable Johnny Marz voice had me and Chris practically rolling on the floor in laughter, while Vinny was shaking his head and smiling. He invited you in with his smile the second he saw you, and he left you with a smile on your face. It’s moments like these you realize how important it is to forget all the stuff that’s been bringing you down, and look at life as a gift. Marz was one of the few people you could tell was actually living it that way. I’m glad I got to share what I’m sure was a proud day for him, and that was the day the Phillies beat the Nationals to go to the playoffs last season. It’s a memory I will now cherish.

I never tired of watching or listening to Johnny Marz. He was always so insightful, had a great personality, and just knew the game. You could see the love he had for baseball by the passion he had when talking about it.

He will be sadly missed by everyone that knew him or watched and listened to him. I am very sorry for this loss.

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/turnpike_series

http://myteamrivals.typepad.com/phightin_phils_phorum

I never met Johnny Marz, but I did enjoy his infectious humor on Leading Off. Jamey Moyer called him a ?great teammate?, I can think of no greater epitaph than that so I will not even try. So long Marz man, I will miss you.

-Joe in Texas

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I had just watched what became his last show, how his video guy set him up and instead of showing all of his greatest baseball moments to his family at a gathering, it was all of his worst! How he laughed had me rolling. How he looked forward to spending time with his grandson propped up in front of all the games. (sigh) I just cannot believe he is gone at such a young age. I am grateful that I did get to know who he was, it has only been about a week since I first saw his shows. After reading all of the comments I am in awe of how many people he has touched. It truly is more important to be nice. It doesn’t make you famous but it is better than all of that. :-)

Rest in Peace John. Codolences to his family. Whoever would like to recite this prayer for John by all means do so:

‘O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!’

The tributes to Marz man all reflect one common thought- he was a caring, insightful man who had a wonderful view of not only baseball, but life. Like everyone else, I miss him already.

God bless and keep you John.

Mike

I watch/listen to the show every day at work. I am in shock. You feel like you get to know someone and John was a great guy. He had a great insight into the game, told great stories, and had a great sense of humor. I will miss you a lot. My prayers are for your family.

Over the years I have rarely given much attention to a lot of talk of sports analysts. But during the summer of 2006 I could tell by listening to John Marzano during the post game Phillies shows that this fella just knew what he was talking about.

Intelligent. Engaging. Knowledgeable. John’s comments and insight were the best I have ever listened to. Also, he gave you the impression that you could sit down and talk with him about anything and he would talk TO you, not AT you.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Marzano family and friends. A major loss for all of us and a terrific gain for Heaven.

Marz Man was a teammate of mine in AAA in 1999, in Oklahoma City. We lost in the PCL finals against Vancover, and I believe it was the last game he ever played in. I remember how emotional that clubhouse was after the game for all of us, and with tears in his eyes, Marz Man was like your big brother, giving you a hug, letting you know everything was ok. He was a great teammate, a proud father, and a 1st class baseball man. He kept us all on our toes, and no matter how you played that day, he would never let you get too high or too low on yourself. I will never forget him. Our baseball family lost one of the great ones. And, I can’t imagine the loss his family must be feeling. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. God Bless you.

From the first time I met Johnny Marz he treated me like family. Always asking if there was anything I needed and making sure that I was having a good time. How could you not have fun while with the Marz Man. Two minutes after Vinny introduced me to him, he was busting my chops like we had known each other for years. He had a genuine soul and the few chances that I had to hang out with him in Philly I could see how beloved he was by everyone he came in contact with. My deepest condolensces go out to all of his family, friends and colleagues. And to my cuz, keep your head up Vin, cause that’s what John would want. Marz Man, we shall see you again one day my friend.

If it weren’t for John Marzano I wouldn’t be a baseball fan today. His joy and passion for the game transcended time and distance. I felt baseball was boring at the time but Johnny Marz had so much joy for the game in him it was infectious. I gave the game another chance and have been hooked ever since. I’ve been a fan of leading off and I’m deeply saddened about his unexpected passing.
I wish I had met him once, he was such an inspiration to me.
He’s touched a lot of people around the world, including myself.

Matthias, Austria

Over the years ballplayers and members of the media have drawn a line between each other, which I always thought was unnecessary and sad. The late Richie Ashburn, who moved from one side to the other, told me once it takes a long time to make the transition. The thing I remember most about John Marzano is he immediately made the switch. He became one of us with ease, not to mention a contagious irreverance, coupled with an unrelenting sense of humor. Although he never lost his burning passion for baseball, he was a true journalist, refusing like many former players to sugarcoat what he was watching and reporting. We became close when we both worked for Comcast SportsNet. Marz said he liked what I did because when it came to distasteful issues I reported them head-on. That was unusual, coming from a former big leaguer. I told him he was even stronger in his analysis. When I joined MLB.com he was one of the first to welcome me aboard. In the broadcast booth during spring-training telecasts, in the studio on Leading Off he made it easy for me; it was just two old friends talking baseball. Yes, the heart is heavy today because a close family member has left. His impact will be with me the rest of my life….Fore up there, here comes Johnny Marz! –Hal Bodley

The first time I met you, John I thought you were insane because you were talking on the cellphone earpiece and you were shouting. Little did I know, I would be meeting a man who from day to day always put a smile on my face. You always made sure I was ok and provided me with advice that I will cherish forever. I will miss all of our long talks about relationships and life and your crazy dancing to ridiculously cheesy songs. Thank you for always making my day brighter. I think you showed us all how a little kindness and a smile can go along way. I will miss you but I know that you are looking down on us and smiling, seeing how much you were loved by all. All of my love and deepest regards to your family and friends.

–”Ar”

From today’s Philly Daily News:

“Donations in Marzano’s memory can be made to the Jayden Brady and Ariana Marzano College Fund, c/o PNC Bank, 1544 Packer Ave., Philadelphia, Pa., 19145.”

After a beautiful weekend I was less than enthusiastic to start the work week, I logged into Leading Off and reached for my coffee to help me along. I was shocked to learn the news and even more amazed at how this affected me. This man who I only listened to several days a week for the past month or so had touched my life in such a powerful way. I closed my office door and cried for 15 minutes… all the time asking myself how this man, who I never met could have had such an impact on me. Perhaps it’s because being of similar age and ethnic background I could identify with him, his humor and values. It was very easy for me to know that this was a genuine person who loved people and was just a joy to be around. My heart and prayers are with his family and friends. My mornings will be a little sadder without Johnie “Marz”, but my life is better for having known him.

Ive known Johnny Marz for the last 10 years. I was extremely proud to have considered him a friend. Just imagine, we had one of us as a celebrity, it was like having an IN on something. he made everyone around him feel important. Ive fixed a couple of his cars at my repair shop, and i was excited every time he came to see me. My day was always brightened when he walked in. He was a kind and generous person. He was nice to my son, who thought of him like an IMPORTANT FIGURE. We have his baseball cards and pictures on our wall in our kitchen,which are always a great conversation piece. But, to have known him , and had a friendship with him was just very very special. I will miss him dearly. I know he is up there talking baseball with God and Im sure he is leading the conversation. South philly and MLB have lost an incredible asset. Rest in piece Johnny Marz, you will be missed and always in our hearts.
your friend , Johnny mags.

Who does this guys think he is…leaving all these people who love him behind! I enjoyed Marz’ personality every morning and cannot imagine what those close to him are going through. Everyone at MLB.com will go on, all with better quality of life having known you. For MLB.com you will still be batting cleanup everyday. Thanks for the laughs. We will all see you again…just not yet.

I am in total shock. I loved watching Johnny Marz and Vinny on Leading off. Marz was such a funny and genuinely great person. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Although his passing saddens many, it is great to see the joy people get from celebrating the life of John Marzano.

As a Boston native growing up, I remember John Marzano being part of an intriguing Red Sox group of prospects that also included Mike Greenwell, Ellis Burks, Sam Horn and Todd Benzinger. I remember the time he took down John Shelby — literally took him down — while Shelby was en route to try to brawl Roger Clemens. But more than anything, I remember getting to know John just a little over the last year or so and coming to find out what a pleasant and nice man he was. When you’re a radio or TV host like John, you have a million writers on your show and they all tend to blend together after a while. But John always remembered me after meeting me the first time and always took an interest in how my day was going and what I was working on. He was just an engaging guy. He leaves a huge void at MLB.com, there’s no doubt about that. Somehow, I can see him smiling down on everyone though and not feeling sorry for himself, but just feeling sorry for all those he left behind. John wishes he could make a joke or two to cheer everyone up, and that is probably what upsets him most. He had a way of lightening the mood and that is what those he knew need right now. Perhaps those who miss John can just think of his smile and his laugh right now and that can comfort them in some way. RIP, John.

My thoughts and prayers go to the Marzano family and to all of us affected by the passing of Johnny Marz. When you spend as much time together as we all do, it seems like family. When I learned the tragic news of Johnny’s death on Saturday I was stunned. Two days later it still feels like a death in the family. He was a special man and he will be missed.

Sadly I never Marz, but I felt like I knew him just by watching him on the MLB.com shows. He never failed to put a smile on my face or a hearty laugh in my belly.

I first knew of Marz when I played the 1987 season of a popular card based stat baseball simulator. He had no playing time limitation and his 5HRs in 168 AB’s made him a must start. His name was forever etched in my mind.

Seeing him working with MLB.com was refreshing and enjoyable. It made my morning during spring training and the beginning of the season. From his fresh, honest, and out-spoken opinion but always respectful, I loved the time I ‘spent’ with him. From Rock Band to the Hale Bop commet story, to his homerun call for Vinny he brightened my baseball day.

I know that the world lost a bit of happiness with his passing, so in an effort to bring it back, let’s all remember him and smile for having shared in his joy of life, passion for baseball, and we can truly honor is memory.

We miss you Johnny Marz.

Lost too young, too soon. A funny guy with a heart of gold. RIP.

Sadly, I didn’t know John so much while playing ten years for the Red Sox, Mariners, and Rangers but I’ve come to know him as the co-host of Leading Off. While I didn’t know him in person, we were in an I-write-in-to-the-show-and-he-rips-on-me kind of relationship. Since John is from Philly and I’m a Mets fan we naturally butted heads. When we trekked out to Citizens Bank Ballpark last season when the Mets were in Philly, I paraded around with a sign that read “WHERE YOU AT JOHN MARZANO?” in hopes to run into such a cool guy (I knew he was at the game too).

I usually think it’s slightly silly when people mourn celebrities, but I am saddended by John’s passing and I feel like I lost a friend. He is the kind of guy that if he heard “Jeremy from Rockville Centre” died that he would actually make mention of it and feel sad that something tragic happened to one of his listeners. He often quoted his father by saying “It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice,” and John surely eminated that sentiment.

I know it’s not much but I have dedicated my fantasy season to Johnny Marz and changed my team name to DOIN’ IT FOR JOHNNY with John’s face as my logo.

Take care Marz, mornings won’t be the same without you. :(

Also, John was proud to wear his Johnny Marz “I Played the Game” shirt around the office, so let’s pick up a few and wear them with a lot of pride and a lot of love:

http://johnmarzano.iplayedthegame.com/home.html

Thanks,
Cory

No matter how bad your day was going you could count on Marz to lighten the mood. Every time you heard him say “how you doin” in that thick Marzano accent you couldnt help but smile.

He was a great athlete, a great broadcaster and a great man.

I didnt know John that long but i’ll never forget him. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Take it ease Marz

I would like to send my condolences go out to Marz’ entire family.

One of the first times I heard/watched Leading Off was around the end of last season. I don’t remember exactly when, but Marz had recently become a grandfather and was talking about tending his grandson for the first time over the weekend. He was talking about how they watched a bunch of baseball games together. I remember the joy that was in his voice talking about how he was going to make a DVD of great hitters and pitchers. Then have his grandson watch it over and over to learn the proper swing and wind-up.
As a first-time father myself, pretty close to the time that Marz was talking about this, it made me smile and appreciate the joy of being a father.

Thank you Marz for everything that you brought to this family that loves baseball. God must have needed a catcher.

– Phill in Utah –

How sorry I am to hear about the passing of Johnny Mars…

He truly was a fan who made us stand up for our specific team and never step down from who we cheered for…win or lose…

I found myself yelling in jest at the computer when Johnny spoke…..he was so passionate about his team…that it would rouse my passion for my team…and afterall….isn’t that what being a fan is all about…..Passion for your team…
My love and Aloha goes out to Johnny’s family both in Phillie and the MLB studios..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSz16ngdsG0
I Will Remember You.

I loved watching Marz on MLB.com, and his comments and analysis of the game was amazing. I’m a Korean-born Australian, living in China; but my love for baseball made watching Marz one of the greatest hours of the day.

Many people would agree that when Marz says, “LET ME TELL YOU ONE STORY….” you know it’s going to be a great story.

I already miss you Marz. I will miss your stories. Take care, and I wish great blessings to you and your family.

Ben in China

John seemed like such a nice guy, humble and kind. All current major leaguers should look up to this man and the way he led his life on and off the field. He will be sadly missed. Jonathan, Northern Ireland

It’s still tough to accept Johnny’s passing as a reality. As a Phillies fan and a fan of this great game we call baseball, there are no words I can find to descibe the sense of loss we’re all feeling from the death of a member of the baseball family, a fan that was passionate, knowledgeable and great as John, and a person that was even greater.

We’ll miss you, Marz.

-Leanne in Pennsylvania

I only started listening to MLB radio within the past few months, but I was instantly impressed with the insight Marz brought to each broadcast. You could tell he had a love of the game that was a huge part of who he was. His analysis and story-telling made each listen informative, and I tried to tune in whenever possible.

I may be a Mets fan from Flushing, but I had a great deal of respect for the Phillies fan from So. Philly. To quote the late Jackie Robinson, “A life is not important, except in the impact it has on others’ lives.” And for that, Marz was tremendously important, based on the reaction from his friends, colleagues, and fans around the world.

Marz, you will be missed.

I have never met John, however he was a secret friend and he really had a great insight of how you need to live a good life.

I would like to send my condolences go out to Johnnie Marz’ entire family,

How about his “All Diva” Team segment? If I wanted some humor I would check out past Leading Off segments that I might have missed and that was one of my most favorites.

A bundle of laughs now a few tears, but life goes on.

Marz was a good host.
I was very suprised to hear this unfortunate news.

Wow…when I heard this tragic news as announced by Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, I was deeply saddened. I never had the pleasure of knowing or meeting John personally, but I respect and admire everything he was as a man. Just watching him on Comcast Sportsnet was enough to brighten my day – and he always had a way of making the Phillies woeful ways make sense. I am an alum of both Central High School and Temple University, just as he was. We are tied into the same special traditions – traditions that make valuable contributions to the world at large. Johnny Marz was a great, great man and he will certainly be missed. His type is a rarity these days – hopefully the positive mark he has left on the lives of many will endure long past his shortened years. May his family find peace and solace in this difficult time. Thanks for everything, John,

I had never even heard of Johnny Marz before he made his way onto the MLB.com shows. But in the short time he was on-air there, he did an absolutely fabulous job, and was exceptionally entertaining. I can’t think of anyone who had a better combination of love for game, hands-on experience as a player, humorous personal anecdotes, unparalleled playfulness, and a total absence of any “airs.” His love and respect for the game were obvious, and contagious, and yet he never seemed to take himself seriously. Those are shoes that cannot be easily filled. He is going to be sorely missed. What a tragedy.

Brad from Cupertino

I posted this on the 411 blog but i thought i would repost it here as it is the best place for it.

————————————————————————————————————–
I am shocked and saddened to read about the passing of John Marzano. My thoughts and prayers with his wife, daughters and his 2 young grandchildren at this sad time. The world is going to be a darker place without John in it. John was a great guy and made me laugh with his humor as well as entertaining me with his infectious enthusiasim for the game.

I also extend my thoughts and prayers to everyone at mlb.com who worked closely with John and became friends with him.

Heaven must have needed a back up catcher for the heavenly baseball team.

Jan, Glasgow.

John would be so proud of the comments that have been posted so far, and would find a way to make fun of at least 5 people who have already written something quite eloquent.
I actually met John 10 years ago. In 1998, I was working with the Seattle Mariners. I met him because he was the guy who saw his teammate Freddy Garcia struggle with English during the Post-Game Show I did after games. Marz offered himself up for an interview every time Freddy pitched, promising to give me “inciteful & smart” even if he didn’t play that day. It stuck with me, that some guys just have a way of doing something nice. And Marz was beyond nice.
When John came to MLB.COM, it was wild to see how he’d grown. I knew he was a friend, and I was touched by how he spoke so glowingly about his partner (& my friend) Vinny. He loved doing Leading Off, and the show was just starting to really hit its stride. He used to tell me how much I could learn from him, and that if we stuck with him, “he’d take care of all of us.”
I know I’m a better person for knowing him, and its an honor to call him my friend. I pray for his family, and I know from all this sadness, will develop a great sense of pride.

Seth Everett

I had a chance to see John at the All-Star fan fest last year in SF. I will miss his energy and love of the game.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9923008@N03/771961668/

John was an irresistable force to listen too. I never met the guy but I feel like I’ve known him. Vinny and him were bar-none a great reason to miss my 9 AM Media Communications class. I archived the show and was always amazed how entertaining John was, but yet insightful none the less. From the writings and the personal testimonies of the mlb.com staff writers, I am right in my assumption of the kind of person he was. His infectiousness for making people laugh was evident in every morning with Vinny, and as a Major League alumni, he provided tremendous insight into the game and always kept us going with his wonderful stories. Although John might have not made the All-Star team down here, I am damn sure he’s an All Star up there…(Just let Mantle steal home for me!) My thoughts and infinite prayers go out to the family and friends of John Marzano..And just hope you know not only did you touch the people down here, but that your character has been indented in all of us.

-Noel-

…I can’t watch these tribute shows anymore…it makes me miss him so much.. How shameful it is without him…We lost great man..I feel I owe him in a sense of learning to be grateful toward world and keep smile around you. Not only he was talented, passionated what he does, but his positive impact on people may live longer. I miss you John..why all the good people gotta go hurry to a better place. God loves you so much, I guess. All my deepest prayers go out to your family and friends. Peace be with you.

-’Fan’way-

I lost my Grandfather last week…he was 91, and it wasn’t unexpected, but still sad.

Now, Johnny Marz, who was far too young. Never met the man, didn’t know him, but I wish I’d had the pleasure. He was great on the shows. Always funny, and always insightful. He’ll be missed. My thoughts and prayers out to his family and friends.

The one amazing thing I always loved about john was that here is this guy, who PLAYED major league baseball. The guy was actually in the game. For the Red Sox, M’s, and a tad with the Rangers. I worked with John at mlb.com and in my line of work i meet a lot of current and former players, and they always remain fans of the game of course, but they have a different perspective than most people. They pull for friends they played with or coaches they liked and the organizations they played for, or simply just watch the action and burn to play again, always noting when they could do it better that the new kid on tv who is dropping his elbow. It’s a great experience being able to watch a ballgame with a guy like Harold Reynolds or Billy Sample. They see it differently and can teach you things and tell you things you otherwise wouldnt be able to see or know. They have stories about these guys from late nights and hotel rooms that add a layer to the enjoyment. Or they know a pitcher’s tell and sometimes still cant believe a third base coach hasnt changed his signs in 10 years. And every now and then a former player will still pull for their childhood team. When I say that is true about Marz, its the biggest understatement you can imagine. When you watched a game with Johnny Marzano, you were watching the game with a former player sure, and he knew things and could give some insight but more importantly you were watching a game with a fellow Phillies fan. Above all. He wouldn’t start his sentences with “You see what he did there was…” he would start them with “Holy crap! That was awesome!…”

I’ve only worked in the industry for a few years now, but I’m finding that joy for not just baseball, but HIS team (one that he never even played for) from a major leaguer to be a rare, if not an entirely unique thing. He was never apologetic about it, he wore it proudly. I wore my phillies shirt into the office yesterday, it was a tough day for everyone. But I wore that shirt, and i wore it PROUDLY, because I know john would have wanted me to.

After Chase’s homer last night I’m sure a few people in the office took out their cell phones without even thinking, just waiting for the text that would have said something like “Did you just see that?!”. It never came, obviously, but somehow, we all know he still sent it.

I apologize for being longwinded, but I think what I am trying to say is that the best way we can honor John’s legacy is by doing one thing, and rooting our butts off for the game… and maybe more importantly, the team that we love.

I was shocked to hear the news of the sudden passing of John Marzano. I only knew him as a broadcaster, but his love of the game and life permeated everyone in the office. He was an uplifting person, who made an effort to know everyone here by name – and always made sure to say hello.
We’re all feel as though something is missing, and Johnny, we’re very say to know that you’re no longer with us.
My condolences go out to his friends and family.

John Marzano was Philly through and through and that is why we loved him. He wore his emotions and opinions on his sleeve and that is what endeared himself to everyone; in this world of make-believe and protecting images, John was so refreshingly genuine. On top of that, he knew baseball and had a special appreciation for it because he did it the hard way.
I feel the same way now as when Richie Ashburn passed away.
Though you probably cannot read this, John, thank you for enriching the lives of everyone who had the good fortune of listening to you, watching you, being a friend of yours, having met you, worked with you, or being in your family. For what you leave behind- a legacy that will make your name proud forever.

I never saw John Marzano on any of the MLB shows, but after listenig to the 411 podcast last night, the name sounded familiar. So I dug out my old baseball cards and sure enough, there was his Team USA Card, right next to fellow USA teamate Cory Snider. I feel for his family. I hope they find peace knowing that he is in a better place. I can only imagine that in heaven he is finally getting his chance to steal 2nd.

Stephen in NC

this hurts really bad. johnny was loved by so many. things will never be the same. i don’t know that i can watch baseball anymore and enjoy it the same way. without hearing johnny’s breakdown of the game and players. ill never understand god’s reasoning for this . its just not fair. i cant imagine what his family is going thru, or his coworkers. i feel like a family member is gone. although , we were friends , it hits home harder for family. his grandkids will never know what its like to grow up with hearing and seeing all the crazy and goofy things he said and has done. life really sucks. i know johnny would not want anyone to be sad, or upset. heaven is having a good time right now. he is holding court and telling stories. i only hope when its my time ,ill be able to see him again. its only been a couple of days now, but, i really miss him.

I will always remember Marz as a truly inspiring and genuine individual?it wasn?t just what he said, but the way in which he spoke and interacted with you guys that increased my smiles on a daily basis. The response by our community really shows just how much he affected us all. It is an honor to participate in the league named after him.

My deepest condolences to the Marzano and MLBAM families.

Neighbor Steve

It seems funny now I remember it but watching the the baseball channel the other week the guys left their mics up before the show had started and Marz was ribbing on Vinny as he did a sound check, you could just tell that the guy loved coming into work everyday, that it didn’t even seem like work to him and that’s one of the reasons Leading off was so great and Marz was so fun to watch :)

I am hoping the Phillies step up and have an annua charity event in John’s memory. I think it would be a fitting tribute to a native son.

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John Marzano will be missed greatly. I started watching and listening to leading off in 2007. Listening to John and Vinny talk baseball was a joy. It felt like two friends with great knowledge of the game talking in a bar for a couple of hours. It sounded like every day John was having a lot of fun. Even though I did not know John personally, it felt like he was just one of the guys. Thoughts and prayers to the Marzano family, Vinny and the rest of the mlb crew and all of his friends.
John from Albany

Wonderful video tribute by Vinny and the rest of MLB.com.

I had the opportunity to meet John at the 2002 All Star Game. He was sitting in the upper deck with the fans, with his girlfriend or wife, when she noticed our Red Sox gear and mentioned John’s name and that he played with the team. He was a great guy who took the time to indulge a couple of fans with too many questions. I don’t know many guys who would take the time, never get frustrated with (I’m sure) idiotic questions and never pulled the “well, I gotta go guys” routine. The one time I met the man and it’s still one of the best memories of a great weekend. Thanks John.

I was eleven when Marzy made his debut for the Mariners, and although he didn’t play much behind Danny Wilson he became one of my all time favorite players. When he took out Paul O’Neill who was my least favorite player he forever took a place in my all time favorite moments in baseball. He played the game right and you could tell watching him play how much he loved it. Thank you for the memories. My thoughts go out to Marzy’s family.

Johnny Marz, is what we Aussies call, “A TOP BLOKE”, and I was shocked to hear about his passing on the W/end. Vinny and John were my routine of coming in to work each morning (only to 12 hours behind) but it didn’t matter. You didn’t need a coffee with him on the computer cause he jumped out and slapped you around as only he can, with his larger than life personality and breakdown of the game.

My prayers and thoughts go out to his family and you all at MLB.com.

Just finished watching the Seattle M’s and Baltimore play. When the broadcast started the first thing I noticed was two letters and a number behind the “dish: JM 17. This was the Mariner’s way of remembering John Marzano. Pretty classy. I assume the game is archived on MLB.Com.

Also, there is a blog called the USS MARINER – they blog about every M’s game and other topics….Find the April 19 Blog if you want to read about the Seattle fans memories of Marzie. You will also find a link to an article about how he got into broadcasting – fairly detailed, and a great picture of Johnny Marz and The Rocket running during a training session – always helping and working with other people. Johnny M knew that happiness was serving and caring for other people.

Jimmy B from Utah

Loved watchting Johnny Marz on Comcast. He was so knowledgeable, had a ton of insight and he was without a doubt a “homer”. He meshed well with the Sportnet team and the day before he passed, he was on site at the Wachovia Center doing a show and talking Phils baseball when he broke out into a “Let’s Go Flyers!” chant with the fans. Awesome, just awesome..He’ll be missed.

I am proud to say John was my good friend, and I was just a regular schmo next door neighbor in Phoenix. John had that unique ability to make EVERY person he met feel special and he had the rare talent to make ANYONE laugh! He never forgot his roots and loved Philly. He was so kind and playful with my kids! My heart aches to think of his magnetic personality simply being taken away so abruptly. John would walk in a room and it would LIGHT UP – and I know he walked in those Pearly Gates and he Lit Up Heaven too! I can just see his big smile and “HowYaDooooo??!!” I will miss you, and I love you Johnny Marz! From your friend Scotty V

I lived on the same street as John growing up. But, although I played against him in Little League, I never actually met him until about 5 years ago through my nephew Dan, who worked for his academy and later would drive to NY everyday with him. The first time I met him I was delivering a cellphone to him at the academy, because he couldn’t make it to my store by 6 o’clock. (he was teaching a class). He pulled me up a chair, handed me a Molson and proceeded to show me tapes of his fight with Paul O’Neil and then some of his favorite Dave Chapelle. He treated me like I’ve known him for years, and continued to be a good friend afterwards. He let my nephew use his academy to help my daughter with her hitting and fielding and gave her tips (I think she was the only girl at the academy) asking for nothing but a thank you in return. He would come in my store for ringtones on his phone. Then show them off to everyone and make sure he told them where he got them, from his friend. Summerwind was his favorite at the time. He stayed at a sports bar near my house and every time he would see me walking by with my dog, he would stop me, slap my dog around a little (75lb. Pitbull, who loved him) and tell me to bring home the dog and come back for a beer on him. That happened too many times to count. I never would go back, but for some reason, on Saturday the 12th, I took his advice, brought home the dog, and had one last beer with him.
I met him over a beer and said goodbye with one, not even knowing it would be my last with him. To John, being from South Philly and Italian, meant a lot, and he proved it everyday by making anyone who crossed his path feel welcome. There isn’t enough room on this blog for all the stories, so I will just say, RIP Marzman, you are missed already.

I had the great honor of being a friend of John Marzano.
he was one of the best people that ever walked this earth.
we met at age 8 playing little league ball. we quickly became friends as well as rivals. our teams alway met in the finals, with his team columbus comming out on top most years. we loved playing allstar games together because all we did was laugh. he was the best player i ever played against hands down. more important he knew he was better than most but did not brag about it, he was a class act. he finally talked me into joing columbus and we won the championship! I am proud to have been his team mate as well as his friend, i will miss him very much. i hope he is with his father talking baseball. the world lost a great person when johnny marz passed away. your friend, Anthony Conte

I became a great fan of leading off and even became a bigger fan of baseball because off Jonny Marz. He passed away to young…. RIP – Gianni from Germany

Its now July 08. Everyday when i switch on MLB.com here in the uk i miss him. Marz was such a great personality. His stories were fantastic, i still laugh thinking of the gift cert he got from Vinny. Leading off was an everyday part of my life.
Marz man you are greatly missed!! You died too young.
Andy U.K

Listenting to John and Vinny, especially John, became part of my daily life here in Europe. They were a connection to all things I hold dear. As a Salf Filly guy, who grew up not far from John’s neighborhood, the sound of his voice, with that unmistakeable Filly dialect, made me feel right at home. I also found some amusement when John remarked on many occasions that his high school alma mater, Philadelphia’s Central High School, and its’ arch rival, Northeast High, had the longest, continuous Thanksgiving day football rivalry in the country. I never had the heart to contact the program to disabuse him of his mistaken belief. It would have meant attacking the obvious, heartfelt pride he had in his school. (Note, Boston Latin and Boston South hold the Thanksgiving record, and Philadelphia’s Germantown Academy and Penn Charter School have the record for longest uninterrupted series) I was so inclined to correct him on a couple of occasions, but thought better of it. John was too nice a guy, and his mistaken belief seemed to mean so much to him. As a person familiar with the Philadelphia public education system, I should note that John’s veneer of being just one more dumb neighborhood guy was just that, a veneer. Central High was, and still is, a very selective school. Those who seek entrance to Central must meet its’ extremely high standards, and continued enrollment there demands that the students pay vigorous attention to school work. I’m sure John never had a problem meeting the goals set by the school and by his peers. He will be missed. I know his unfortunate, and sudden, demise has left a lonely hole in my daily life. As an avid listener, I dearly miss his insights and witicisms. He will never be replaced. You can’t just call up someone from Triple A to fill his slot. They wouldn’t have his talent. He was destined for bigger things. I pray for him, and send condolences to his family.

Johny Marz is watching over the Phillies this is the year they have a parade down Broad Street. God Bless you Johnny Marz. Let’s go Phils!!!!

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Marzano family and all those that had the pleasure of meeting John. I was fortunate to have met John early in his career in New Britain, CT through my consulting with the New Britain Red Sox. When he was sent back down to AA on a rehab assignment, we chatted during his BP. He handed me a bat he had just cracked. I have been involved with minor league baseball since 1983 and have collected quite a bit of memorobilia over the years, but that bat has been the only item leaning against against my desk since the day he gave it to me. He touched a lot of people in his short time in this world and will be missed. Robert J. Becker, PT

Ever Since This World Series Started I’ve Been Thinking About John Constantly. Now That The Phillies Have Won The World Series I Wonder What Marz Would Have Said Tomorrow In The Morning On The MLB Show With Vinny. He Would’ve Gloated And Gloated. It’s Just Weird That He Passed Away During The Year In Which The Phillies Win It All. I Bet Marzano Was Nudging God To Give The Edge To The Phillies This Season. Overall, Marzano Had Something To Do With This. I Truly Believe It. Congratulations, Philadelphia Phillies.

Had to post this after I again watched Vinnie’s televised tribute to you. John, I guess you already know Raul Ibanez has been traded to the Phils. Hope he gets to tell that salary story you told us. We miss you buddy. God bless you and your family.

I would like to know why when a player tak something han is banned by MLB a plaer does not get fired lik I would at my job instead they get babied I would love to make millions and get awa with breaking all the ules hey just a thought a ********** fan alex manny are both loseres

I would like to know why when a player takes something that is banned by MLB a player does not get fired like I would at my job instead they get babied I would love to make millions and get away with breaking all the rules they are just a bunch of spoiled brats just a thought a ********** fan, Alex and Manny are both losers.

every HR ale hits should have a ? mark

every HR ale hits should have a ? mark

every HR alex hits should have a ? mark yankees need me as manager

every HR alex hits should have a ? mark yankees need me as manager

PLEASE KEEP MARCO SCUTARO, THE BEST, DON’T LET HIM GO. PLEASE.

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